Local authorities across the country have been working on their rights of way improvement plans (ROWIPs) for the past seven years. The plans are designed to increase opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding, to provide greater connectivity between routes, and to link up with the public transport network.
Improvement plans are now in place for 90% of England and it is anticipated that coverage will be extended to the whole country during 2009. The plans have a greater focus on urban paths and other linear access routes; they outline plans to promote the health benefits of walking, cycling and horse riding; and they contribute to tackling climate change.
Winners and nominations for each award category: Edit
- Best consultation / community involvement: Lincolnshire
Nominated authorities: Barnsley, Birmingham, Derby City, Darlington, Shropshire, and Slough.
- Best contribution to local prosperity and quality of life: Durham Nominated authorities: Leicestershire, North Somerset, Warrington, and Worcestershire.
- Improving accessibility to all: Leicester City
Nominated authorities: Doncaster, Devon, Hartlepool, North Yorkshire and Birmingham
- Best cycling: East Sussex
Nominated authorities: Derby, Leicester, Tyne and Wear, Staffordshire, and Sheffield
- Best integration with local transport plan: Nottingham City Council
Nominated authorities: Cambridgeshire, Durham, Hertfordshire, Leicester, Merseyside, Oxfordshire, Slough, Warrington, Darlington, and Redcar and Cleveland
- Best horse riding: Tyne and Wear
Nominated authorities: Barnsley, Kent, and Rutland
- Best local access forum involvement: Tyne and Wear
Nominated authorities: Cumbria, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Hartlepool, Warwickshire, and Hampshire
- Most enterprising / innovative: Kent, Bedfordshire & Oxfordshire
Nominated authorities: North Yorkshire, Sandwell, Redcar and Cleveland, Oxfordshire, Medway, Somerset and Staffordshire. The judging panel decided that because nominations in the last category were not to a set format, three special awards should be presented.